Exec Pleads Guilty In Food Price-Fixing Case

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a former vice president of a Monterey-based tomato processor will be cooperating with authorities after being charged with participating in a nationwide conspiracy to drive up food prices.

Jeffrey Sherman Beasley was charged in a Sacramento federal court Wednesday, and agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with an investigation into his former employer, SK Foods LP.

The 63-year-old Beasley is charged with conspiracy in connection with bribery of purchasing managers of major food companies, as well as conspiracy to sell mislabeled tomato products with the intent to defraud customers.

Former SK broker and director Randall Lee Rahal and purchasing managers from Kraft Foods Inc., Frito-Lay Inc., and B&G Foods Inc. already have pleaded guilty in the case.

More in Operations